All Access Boston Harbor

2019 Trip Dates

Spectacle Island
  • July 2, 3, 16
  • July 17, 18, 30, 31
  • August 1,13, 14, 15
  • August 20, 21, 22
  • August 27, 28, 29
Island Highlights
  • 5 miles of trails
  • Lifeguarded swimming beach
  • Pier for fishing
  • Exploring an archeological site with our exciting “Treasures of Spectacle Island” program
Georges Island
  • July 9, 10, 11
  • July 23, 24, 25
  • August 6, 7, 8
Island Highlights
  • Largest Harbor Island
  • Historic Fort Warren
  • Underground tunnels
  • Pier for fishing

About All Access Boston Harbor

All Access Boston Harbor is a series of free day trips in July and August for Boston area youth groups and community organizations to George’s and Spectacle Islands in the Boston Harbor Islands National Park. Participants learn about the marine environment and the history of the Boston Harbor Islands from historian David Coffin and Save the Harbor’s youth environmental education program staff.

Although it is the first time out on Boston Harbor for many participants, over the course of the summer the boat rides and islands become as familiar to the youth as their own neighborhoods.

 

What to Expect

Each trip begins dockside at Rockland Trust Pavilion with an interactive presentation about the history of the Boston Harbor and the marine environment, featuring touch tanks, storytelling, and art. Save the Harbor staff will then lead the group to the Bay State Cruise Company dock where groups will board the Provincetown II to then enjoy a short cruise to the island filled with stories of pirates and sea shanties. Once on the islands, program participants explore the environment and take part in activities lead by our staff including hiking, fishing, sports, fort exploration on George’s, and archeological treasure hunts and swimming on Spectacle. More detailed information can be found in our information packet (left).

 

Get Ready for Summer

All Access Boston Harbor is now accepting reservations for summer 2019. This year, we have introduced the option to reserve your trip online with this form. If you prefer, you may also review the information packet and complete and send back the reservation form to Kristen Barry via email at barry@savetheharbor.org or by fax at 617-451-0496. Please feel free to contact her with any questions by email or phone at 617-451-2860 x1008.

Learn More

Visit our Youth and Beaches Blog!  Read what our youth staff is saying about their summers with Save the Harbor, and see photos from our latest Harbor Island trips.

Daily Schedule
9:30 am: Arrival
Arrive at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion: Boston’s Outdoor Concert Venue on Boston Harbor at 290 Northern Avenue in South Boston. Harbor Educators will welcome your group and take a head count as well as a group photo! Please inform our staff if any of your group members cannot be photographed.

Please take the time to look at the enclosed map. Many groups are unclear about our location and show up in the wrong area. We are located in the Seaport area of South Boston and NOT on the waterfront
downtown or near the Aquarium. Please call us with any questions you may have about directions. It is very important that you make every effort to be on time out of respect for the other participants.

9:45 am: Welcome and Presentation
Interactive presentation on the history of Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands by Maritime Historian David Coffin. Participants also get the chance to take part in dockside activities led by Save the Harbor Senior Harbor Educators and their staff including fishing, exploring touch tanks, and creating art inspired by the sea.

10:15 am:
Groups will be escorted by Save the Harbor staff to the Bay State Cruise Company dock at 200 Seaport Blvd.

10:30 am: Boat Boarding and Departure
All aboard the Provincetown II for your group’s trip to the island. We typically board the boat one group at a time. Observe Boston Harbor first hand as a place for work and play and as an ecological habitat as you cruise to Georges or Spectacle Island!

11:00 am – 1:30 pm: Lunch & Island Activities
Arrive at the Island and explore its great resources with our Harbor Educators. Have lunch (not included) at the picnic area with beautiful views of the Harbor, the city, and surrounding islands. On Georges Island you can explore Fort Warren and maybe see the fabled “Lady in Black.” Visitors to Spectacle Island will have the opportunity to hike the 5 miles of trails, play kickball, swim on a lifeguarded beach or take a look at Boston’s archeological history through the Treasures of Spectacle Island. Our Harbor Educators will be facilitating ball
sports and fishing at both island locations, as well as additional activities tailored to each island.

1:30-1:45 pm: Boat Boarding and Departure
Gather on the dock and prepare for the return trip to the mainland aboard the Provincetown II. On Spectacle Island, this meeting time is 1:45pm; on Georges Island we meet on the dock at 1:30pm. This will be reiterated at the Pavilion the morning of the trip!

2:30 pm: Farewell!
Provincetown II arrives back at the Bay State Cruise Company dock. Disembark for home.

Preparing For Your Trip
Save the Harbor welcomes you to explore the many and varied recreational opportunities afforded to us by a cleaner, more accessible harbor, and by the many activities that line its shores. Take to the waters of Boston Harbor, and visit the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park with All Access Boston Harbor! To make your experience with All Access Boston Harbor successful and enjoyable please consider the following tips and recommendations, as well as guidelines and rules from our partners at DCR.

 

TIPS & GUIDELINES

Please give us an accurate head count.
This allows us to include as many children and community groups as possible in the program as space is limited.

 

Children must be at least 7 years of age.

Bring your lunch.
Lunch will not be provided.

Wear comfortable shoes and clothing for the outdoors.

 

Check the weather.
Pay attention to the weather forecast. While we rarely cancel, your trip will be more enjoyable if you are dressed appropriately for rain, wind, or heat that may occur.

 

Dress in layers and bring a jacket!
The ocean air can feel cooler than temperatures on land.  A lightweight water-resistant jacket can come in handy; you never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bathing suits and towels.
Spectacle features a lifeguarded swimming beach—plan accordingly!  If your group does not allow swimming, perhaps consider Georges Island. Swimming is not allowed anywhere on Georges.

Stay on the trails.
Observe all fences, signage, railings, and barriers indicating restricted areas.

 

Don’t get sunburned!
Wear sunscreen and bring a hat or visor. It’s harder to find shelter from the sun when you are on a boat and on an island.

Bring trash bags.
There are no public trash receptacles on the Harbor Islands— so please be prepared to “leave no trace” by bagging your lunch trash and bringing it back to the boat before continuing to explore the island.

 

Bring and drink plenty of water.
An active day in the hot sun can dehydrate you quickly. Please bring ample water for your group, and refill bottles at water stations on the boat and islands.

Do a little research in preparation for your trip. We recommend these websites to start you on your way:

For information about the Islands: www.bostonharborislands.org

 

For curriculum materials and lesson plans: https://www.nps.gov/boha/learn/education/curriculummaterials.htm

All groups need to staff themselves. We will provide the tools you will need to enjoy your day and organize the overall program, but you will need to be proportionately and appropriately staffed for your group size and requirements (1 adult to every 8 children).

HAVE FUN!!!

Directions to the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
From points West or South via I-90 East or I-93 North: (I-93 North to exit 20, Mass Pike/I-90 East) Mass Pike I-90 East to Exit 25, “South Boston.” At the top of the ramp, bear left towards “Seaport Boulevard” and at the first set of lights proceed straight onto East Service Road. At the next set of lights, take a right onto Seaport Boulevard. Seaport Boulevard becomes Northern Avenue. The Blue Hills Bank Pavilion will be approximately 1/3 mile ahead on the left.

From points North via I-93 South: I-93 South towards Boston: Take Exit 23, Purchase St. Take the first left, onto Seaport Boulevard and follow over the Moakley Bridge. Follow Seaport Boulevard for approximately 1 mile. Seaport Boulevard becomes Northern Avenue. The Blue Hills Bank Pavilion will be approximately 1.0 mile ahead on the left.

From points East via I-90 West: Follow the signs towards I-90 West – Ted Williams Tunnel: Take the Ted Williams Tunnel to Exit 25 “South Boston”. At the top of the ramp proceed straight onto B Street. At the end of B Street, take a right onto Seaport Boulevard. Seaport Boulevard becomes Northern Avenue. The Blue Hills Bank Pavilion will be approximately 1/3 mile ahead on the left.

By MBTA: Take the red line, commuter rail, or bus to South Station and connect with the Silver Line Waterfront service. (the Silver Line Waterfront is located one level above the MBTA Red Line, one level below the Food Court at South Station). Take any Silver Line bus to the Silver Line Way stop. Blue Hills Bank Pavilion is located one block away from the Silver Line Way stop.

Note: The Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, located at 290 Northern Avenue, is NOT located near the New England Aquarium. It is on the South Boston Waterfront. Landmarks include Seaport Hotel and the World Trade Center. Look for the Pavilion signage on utility poles. After the Welcome and Presentation, groups will be escorted by a Save the Harbor Staffer to 200 Seaport Boulevard to board the Provincetown II.